St Kilda finally has a ‘village bell’ ringing out, more than 80 years after the distinctive Catani Memorial Clock Tower appeared on the foreshore.
The digital chimes, turned on by Port Phillip Council today, replicate the solemn tones of a classic clock tower bell. In a further nod to the past, the chimes were installed by the same company responsible for activating the clockface and mechanism in 1932.
Following extensive community consultation with nearby residents and traders, the chimes will sound on the hour from 8 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 10 pm on weekends.
Carlo Catani, who died in 1918, set the design principles for the St Kilda foreshore to be a cosmopolitan Mediterranean-style entertainment and promenading park scape.
His vision included a prominent public clock tower as the centrepiece, and a tower was delivered posthumously after a design competition in 1930 – but without a bell.
Digital chimes have many advantages, including easy to control sound and directional settings.
Mayor Louise Crawford said the chimes provide a moment of stillness and a sense of community as residents and visitors go about their daily life.
“This project represents a great combination of the old and the new, fully in keeping with St Kilda’s reputation as a unique destination. The chimes will able to be heard nearby on Victoria’s most popular beach,” Cr Crawford said.
Council is planning to hold an event later this year to celebrate the completion of the Catani Memorial Clock Tower chimes project.
The idea to complete the bell tower was raised by resident Isaac Hermann and championed by former councillor David Brand.